New bathing options promote parent and baby bonding at Wyoming Medical Center

By Monica Money, R.N. Mar 23, 2018

Brandi Roybal, R.N., gives Forrest James Dillon his first bath while his parents, Hannah and Zachery, look on. Delayed bathing gives parents the chance to participate in the first bath while learning infant-care tricks from the nurse.

On The Birthplace, we are constantly trying to find ways to improve care and patient experience. We recently started offering new bathing processes that will do just that!

Swaddle baths, bathing while the baby is swaddled in a small blanket, decreases infant crying and unstable temperatures.

The Birthplace has started offering “delayed bathing.”  In addition to being part of emerging national standards of care, The World Health Organization suggests that bathing should be delayed for 6 to 24 hours after birth.  The delayed bath decreases temperature instability and allows for the absorption of the vernix — a greasy deposit protecting the newborn’s skin. (Think of it like a really great lotion for your baby!)

Delayed bathing also gives parents time to settle down after the excitement of the delivery and allows them to participate in the bath. While we have always delayed bathing for infants who are medically unstable or have cold temperatures after delivery, we are now offering to delay bathing until you are ready for it.So just tell us when you want your baby bathed!

We are excited to offer parents the chance to be a part of their baby’s first bath.  This special time with baby will be priceless and will be so much more appreciated when done at a time when the parents can take it in rather than immediately after delivery. Additionally, it is a great time for parents to ask their nurse questions and to become confident in the care that they will soon be providing on their own at home.

(In instances when dangerous communicable diseases are present, we will continue our practice of bathing the baby once he or she is medically stable.)

In the nursery, we now also offer a new bathing technique called “swaddle bathing.”  A swaddle bath has been shown to significantly decrease infant crying and unstable temperatures while increasing parent satisfaction and confidence.

The bath is given in a special tub, and a nurse immerses the baby in warm water while swaddled in a blanket. The swaddling supports a midline position, which the baby loves, and also gives the baby boundaries to push out against just like they had when they were inside of Mommy!  This helps to comfort the baby and makes the bath a pleasant experience for both baby and the parents.

Monica Money, R.N.

Monica Money is a clinical education coordinator for the nursery at the Ruth R. Ellbogen Family, Mother and Baby Center. She has been at the hospital for five years and has been an OB/Nursery RN for the past 13 years. She has a bachelor’s of nursing degree from the University of Wyoming and is a Certified Lactation Counselor.  She also directs the Neonatal Resuscitation Program Education for Wyoming Medical Center.